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Imposter SyndroME

7 August 2020

Photo by Bekah Russom on Unsplash

High IQ.  I’m not that smart.  Killin’ it on the skills’ #assessments.  I could do better.  Given compliments.  I’m not that pretty/talented/fit.  Love you.  I’m not loveable.  

Sense a theme there? 

Can you relate?

How often do we all just shrug off a compliment?  We chalk it up to modesty or humility or some other such self-deprecating technique. 

What do we do when faced with a group of like-minded or similarly gifted peers?  We defer, deflect & detract from what we bring to the table.


Being a curious and scientific, and let’s be honest, labeling species there’s of course a title for this self-sabotaging phenomenon – Imposter Syndrome.  Defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success, ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence (

IS = a hot mess of harmfulness. It takes on multiple & variable forms that stem from a person’s personality, current status and background. Dr. Valerie Young, has categorized IS into 5 subgroups: the Perfectionist, the Superwoman/man, the Natural Genius, the Soloist, and the Expert. The concern that others will “find you out,” can be dissected, understood & addressed with the appropriate techniques found in her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It. In it, Dr. Young elaborates on this, and yes this is already in my cart so I can devour each page.

Full disclosure – this article, is a swift one-two punch to the gut, and resonated with my inner voice so well the two harmonized.

The unpacking, understanding, and the subsequent exercises to address & change one’s mindset to one of acceptance and celebration are equally as challenging as coming to terms with IS.  But it’s also something that is vital for us to address for our own #mentalhealth, the health of those we love, and our communities.

I’m one of the biggest proponents for opening up, sharing your truth, and owning your #amazingness.  I also am – historically – quite the hypocrite for I didn’t always believe my own catchphrase that I AM awesome.  I know I’m good at what I do, the work I aspire toward, and even achieve greatness at times.  But truly believing that?  Here’s where fake it ‘til you make it came into play.  Gradually, I started hearing AND listening to what I was saying and what others were telling me.  Eventually I accepted what everyone else already saw or knew.  I, me, myself – I am enough. 

Occasionally my IS flares up and I am so very fortunate in my support network to be able to say, hey here I go again, doubting myself.  They’re right there to hold up a #mirror so I can see my awesome self that was there all along. It’s OK to question your abilities, your work & even your sanity at times.  But don’t dwell in that place of uncertainty.  Give yourself the credit you deserve because I know you’re working so hard – especially now – to put one foot in front of the other to show up and do your best.  And let me tell you, you are #awesome.  You.  Not some other person, not that fluffed up, photo-shopped version that we sometimes choose hide behind.  Let this post serve as a mirror to enable you to see #YOURSELF.  Own your awesome & know that you, you are enough. 

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